Pistachio crusted chicken breast on lime and olive oil quinoa fusilli topped with bits of dried tomatoes is a nice crunchy bite for any pistachio lovers. Making a crust with nuts is always a winning recipe, especially with those salty, precious pistachios. The hardest in this recipe is to crack open all those pistachios, the rest is candy. The crunchy texture in dishes is always a plus, imagine a roasted chicken without the crunchy skin, a soft bacon strip or even a simple smoochy toast, this crispy, crunchy texture is always a good attribute to any dish, but not always possible to reach and often unhealthy (battered fried chicken). This pistachio crust is oven baked and filled with flavors, if you want to kick your next chicken breast recipe up a notch this is the way.
Let’s talk pistachios, I know what you are thinking… “pistachios are filled with fat”, and yes it’s true, there’s a good amount of fat in them, but the good kind that lowers the bad cholesterol LDL and raise the good kind HDL, which is a good thing for your heart. In other words, way healthier then battered and fried chicken. Pistachios are rich in antioxidant, vitamin E and essential minerals and yes, it’s a pricy nut, but it’s worth it.
This recipe could be serve on pasta, couscous, salad, etc. it’s up to you. I thought a simple quinoa fusilli with a touch of olive oil and lime would do the trick, and the extra dried tomato to make it extra mediterranean flavored. So again… faithful to my adopted home, it’s a mediterranean style dish, but a more eastern side of the sea, since pistachios are abundant over there.
Let’s make this crunchy pistachio chicken going!
Pistachio crusted chicken breast on a lime-olive oil quinoa fusilli and dried tomatoes
Makes 2-4 portions
- 2 chicken breast
- 80g of pistachios (with shell) cracked open
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp of flour
- 300g of quinoa fusilli
- extra-virgin olive oil
- dried tomatoes
- salt and pepper
Bring the oven to 180°C (350F)
- In a small bowl whisk the egg
- Add the flour to a plate
- Blend the cracked open pistachio to a big sand texture
- Cover the chicken breast with flour, then drop in the egg mixture
- Cover with the pistachio and a bit of black pepper (no salt since the pistachios are already salty)
- Add to baking tray, plate and cook in the oven at 180°C (350F) for 25 minutes
- During that time, cook the quinoa fusilli (with quinoa pasta always “extra al dente” otherwise it’s sticky and pasty)
- Drain and add a touch of good extra-virgin olive oil, black pepper and a squeeze of lime or lemon
- When the chicken is ready, let cool 2 minutes, then cut with a sharp knife in strips
- Add to the fusilli and top with a few pieces of dried tomatoes
Serve with extra lime and olive oil. Enjoy!